Getting one of the best graphics cards at almost any price was close to impossible just two or three months ago, but the situation is starting to get better as Nvidia's new Light Hash Rate (LHR) series of GeForce RTX 30-series cards are beginning to arrive. Prices of graphics boards are still high in the US, Europe, and Japan, but now that LHR boards are here, at least they do not attract attention of miners.
Earlier this month we reported in our GPU Pricing Index that tracks U.S. pricing and availability of the lastest graphics cards that many of the add-in-boards we follow got as much as 12.6% cheaper when compared to the first half of May. The cards are still expensive, but we might be starting to see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
Geizhals.eu, a search engine that tracks hardware prices and availability in Austria, Germany, Poland, and the UK, now lists 19 different GeForce RTX 30-series LHR graphics boards as available from tens of retailers in several countries. Their prices range from €599 for a GeForce RTX 3060 to €1899 for a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. In total, there are about 100 GeForce RTX 30-series LHR models listed, but the majority of them are unavailable. There are over a hundred of non-LHR SKUs listed as available and their prices vary in about the same ranges, so graphics cards continue to be a luxury in this part of the world.
Thousands of miles away from Europe, visitors of large stores located in the famous Akihabara district of Tokyo also report that graphics boards started to re-appear on the shelves. The majority of the new boards that arrive are indeed GeForce RTX 30-series LHR models that pose little interest to miners. The prices continue to be high, even soaring, but at least the cards are in stock.
"We have plenty of graphics cards in stock," a representative for Dospara store told ITMedia.co.jp. "The only new models arriving are LHR models. The price is still soaring, but the inventory itself is reasonable."
The situation in the US meanwhile hasn't improved much. Online retail stores like Amazon and Newegg still don't have much if any direct inventory, and Newegg continues to sell all new GPUs via its Shuffle lottery system. PCPartPicker (opens in new tab) as another example only shows a dozen GPUs with prices, and half of those are two or more generations old — and the other half are severely overpriced. BestBuy meanwhile shows two cards in stock (opens in new tab), a GT 720 2GB for $70 and a GT 1030 2GB for $130.
Unfortunately, there are no truly accurate ways to monitor availability and sales numbers of graphics cards (outside of the quarterly reports from major analyst firms like Jon Peddie Research), but based on various indicators we can say that the situation with availability is getting better. The prices are still high because demand exceeds supply and because the industry is working under high load, but at least availability in retail seems to be improving.